Whitaker Elementary students, staff, and parents honored veterans and first responders in a memorable ceremony on Tuesday evening. Over 350 students, parents and community members attended and honored over 40 veterans and first responders. Mr. Grant Anderson, Whitaker Elementary Principal, emceed the event and began with a sincere thank you to all the veterans and first responders in attendance and all those in our community. He related the ceremony’s significance in his own life and the desire to help the Finneytown students gain a better understanding and respect for all those who currently serve and have served. According to Mr. Anderson, “We must always honor the sacrifices made by the men and women who serve our country and communities to keep us free and safe. We have an obligation to thank those who have served or are serving in our military, police, fire, and EMT/paramedic corps for their service. It’s such a small thing to do for those who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.”
Throughout the event, Principal Anderson read the names, years served, and area of service of those in attendance. In addition, students read heartfelt thank you notes to veterans and first responders. Cub Scout Pack #390 performed the presentation of the colors and flag ceremony. Third and fourth grade students beautifully sang several patriotic-themed songs. Members of VFW Post 10380 performed the Missing Man Table ceremony during which a table is set for a member of each of the Armed Forces and POW/MIAs. The solemn ceremony memorializes the fallen, missing, or imprisoned military service members. No one made a sound while it was being performed. “I couldn’t be more proud of our students, staff, and community for the honor they bestowed upon our honorees at this event, and we can’t wait to do it again next year,” stated Principal Anderson.
Members of Whitaker’s Veterans Day committee include Jenny Brunsman, Heidi Johnson, Doug Dirr, Lori Gehr, Marlo Thigpen, and Grant Anderson. We congratulate and thank them for the countless hours they spent planning this event to honor our community members who have served and continue to serve everyday.